Checking the Age of a Bicycle

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I've occasionally seen bikes advertised on ebay that are described as a different model year (i.e. newer) to what they are actually are.  Bike manufacturers release their new models around September time so a brand new 2008 bike can actually be purchased in say October 2007.  Colours and decals will probably change for each year but there will also be changes to the equipment (gears, brakes etc.) on the bike.  I'd advise any prospective buyer to check the website of the manufacturer as many have a bike archive section showing the range of bikes from previous model years, this is a quick and easy way to check that the buyer is not trying to advertise the bike as being newer than it actually is and to also check that the bike has not been downgraded in terms of equipment and parts.  I hope this is helpful to all you bike shoppers out there.
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